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Oskarshamn is a coastal city and the seat of Oskarshamn Municipalitymarker, Kalmar County, Swedenmarker with 17,143 inhabitants in 2005.



History

The location of Oskarshamn was known as Döderhultsvik since the Medieval age. In 1645, the city of Kalmar, to the south, made a request to the Royal Government on holding commerce in the bay there, which was granted, giving it merchancy rights as a köping. There followed 200 years of merchancies in the town, during which it was governed and dependent on Kalmar; while the surrounding towns and municipalities made frequent requests to grant it a charter, consequently turned down each of the attempts made in the years: 1786, 1798, 1800, 1815, 1818, 1823, 1825, 1830 and 1838. In 1843 it got some independence, with a local council, but the council itself was occupied by citizens of Kalmar. In 1854, the King Oscar I of Sweden promised to grant it a charter as soon as it had fulfilled certain demands, including building a prison and a council hall, among other things. When they had accomplished the feats, the charter was granted, and the city became one of the Cities of Sweden starting 1856, on May 1. This status has today no legal significance, but Oskarshamn is now the seat of the much larger Oskarshamn Municipality, without being a political entity of its own.

Recent history

Industrialisation began with the inauguration of the railway line to Nässjö. From then on, industries as well as the harbour began to expand. The biggest private employer for a long time was the shipyard, which at its height had almost 1500 employees. But in the 1970s, the Swedish shipbuilding industry suffered a large financial crisis and many shipyards closed down. In Oskarshamn, the shipyard went through a large downsizing which left many people unemployed.

However, at around the same time, two major industries were established in Oskarshamn. In 1966, Scania ABmarker bought the truck cab factory, which had been building truck cabs since 1948, and started expanding. The Scania factory is today one of the biggest employers in Kalmar county with almost 2000 employees.

There are three BWR units in a nuclear power plantmarker in or near Oskarsham.

Transport

The rail traffic is today limited to freight trains to and from the harbour; the passenger trains have been replaced by buses. There is also a ferry line between the town and Visbymarker on the Swedish island of Gotlandmarker. Oskarshamn also has its own airportmarker, situated some 11 km to the north of the city centre.

Culture

Oskarshamn was the home of the famous woodcarver Axel Petersson Döderhultarn. His studio as well as a museum containing more than 200 of his carvings are located here.

At the release of The Simpsons film, Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet concluded that Oskarshamn is the Swedish equivalent to Springfield, the Simpsons' hometown.

Sport

IK Oskarshamn is the name of the local ice hockey team.

References

External links




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